As part of FIDO contents, we’re gathering here some women designers to talk about some of their works. The Digging into design section aims to focus on the method and the strategy to approach a design project, presenting specifically the ideas that stand behind it and the step-by-step.
Jazlyn Fung is a typeface designer originally from Hong Kong and currently based in Melbourne, Australia. In her hometown she had some experiences working for years in branding, environmental graphics and wayfinding design industry. On her way to Melbourne she had a stop-off in Sydney where she worked in branding and architecture companies. During our conversation it was very nice seeing how some apparently different experiences have converged into her recent freelance practice with typography.
“I found out that I quite enjoy working with clients that love my work and contact me to collaborate on some very nice projects, instead of sitting in an office as I used to do. I will give it some time to explore myself, to do some work and to be curious!”
But we don’t want to reveal too much too early. Welcome to a new chapter of Digging into design, this time with designer Jazlyn Fung.
Where Jazlyn is now–professionally speaking–is quite accidental: during the long pandemic weeks and months, she was just stuck at home and also “a little depressed because I couldn’t actually see anyone, I couldn’t do enough exercise, and I got fat” she admits. So what was a hard time for most people, was actually a lighting spark to her creativity. During the first lockdown caused by the Coronavirus in 2020 Jazlyn created a set of letters inspired by her growing belly: “That’s how the Happy Fat Font was born! I was painting, doing some portraits, but nothing was enough so, as I had easy access to a typeface software, I decided to express myself through typography. I just wanted to create something silly that can make people happy.”
The Happy Fat Font shows a strong will to give a form–in her own way–to the storytelling and give priority to this aspect over, for example, functionality. And this is a lesson that she’s learned and feels so good to her that she suggests that other designers too would give it a try, “because you’ll love it!”
Lately the designer created another very nice typography, the Avior font. It’s inspired by art decó furniture, especially lampshades, for which she has a weakness.
“I love collecting vintage lampshades, because they’re not only beautiful objects with harmonious forms, but they embody research, history and national culture”
she explains. She didn’t use a specific piece as a reference for the font set, she explains, but a wider research on lines and curves from western art styles prior to ww1 to create her typography.
The difference between these two fonts is quite consistent and lays in the creative process to get to the final result. In fact, if on one hand she started from her life experience to express herself for the Happy Fat Font–because she wanted to transform storytelling into typography –, on the other hand she digged more into shape research, investigation and art deco studies for the Avior font. “These two ways of thinking are worlds apart, but both helped to come up with two different font stories” she adds.
Other elements helped the designer to get to this point, for example social media were very important. Instagram was her main tool at that point because starting to share the Happy Fat Font gave her the chance to see how much people loved it. So she went on giving the font a smiley face “and this made me very happy. I think that these vibes made me want to keep going on and then doing more typography.” Finding people and new clients loving her work encouraged her to keep on going in this direction. Through the social media she met like-minded people and that has been fundamental to change her workflow compared to her previous work method:
In a very positive way she would sum up her experimentation with type design as “just having fun, no pressure, no stress, and do whatever you want.” And we couldn’t agree more.
We thank Jazlyn for sharing her experience with us. See you in the next episode with another extraordinary guest.
*** All the images are property of ©JazlynFung, you’ll need her explicit permission to reproduce them 🙂